Bayern Munich dominated European football during the 2012-13 season as they won the UEFA Champions League title and the first treble in the history of German football. It is fitting, then, that winger Franck Ribery was named the European Player of the Year on Thursday, according to Bayern Munich's official Twitter account.
Ribery had some stiff competition for the award as he beat out Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo among others to capture the honor. Although Ribery's production doesn't jump off the page as much as Messi's or Ronaldo's, the fact that he played for the best team in the world certainly helped his cause.
With that said, Ribery's statistics for the 2012-13 season are nothing to sneeze at. He racked up 11 goals and 18 assists for Bayern Munich. More than anything, Ribery is responsible for fueling Munich's uptempo attack, as he constantly draws the attention of defenders and allows his teammates to get open.
Ribery may not be the best goalscorer in the world, but that isn't the name of the award. Without Ribery's pinpoint passing, it is certainly possible that Bayern Munich would have fallen well short of expectations last season. Instead, they had the best campaign in their storied history, and much of that is owed to the Frenchman's play.
This is the first European Player of the Year Award for the 30-year-old star, but if he continues to play up to his potential in 2013-14, and Munich continues to be dominant as well, another award may not be out of his reach.
Until then, Ribery can take great pride in this award as it serves as a reflection of his spectacular play as well as the incredible season that Bayern Munich put together.
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